Exodus 16:4 – Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions.”
For the Israelites in wilderness, there was nothing in their surroundings to meet their needs. All was dry and barren. They soon developed the bad habit of grumbling and complaining.
This lack of provision was a time of testing. God wanted to teach them to trust him alone to meet their every need day by day. He wanted them to learn this important lesson before coming into their season of promise when the land would flow with milk, honey, and with clusters of grapes so large they had to be carried on a pole between two men.
As we journey through this life, which can be wilderness-like, we are also surrounded by great needs – in our marriage, career, finances, family, friendships, health, emotions. Seeing all need and no provision, in the barrenness of our circumstance, causes us to give way to complaining and grumbling. Soon this becomes a way of living and makes our journey in the wilderness unbearable.
Instead of carping and complaining we are to trust God each day to meet our needs with his mana from heaven. As the Israelites had a promise to trust in, we do as well. Philippians 4:19 says, “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” God has an inexhaustible supply of riches stored up for us in Christ and is able to rain down his grace each day to meet our every need.
How then do we express this trust? We don’t allow ourselves to get overwhelmed with the needs and worries of tomorrow. Each of us knows what we need today to make it through. Instead of gripping, posting, and stewing over our unmet needs, we present each need in prayer and we ask him to send his provision from heaven. Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
But, we don’t stop there. We then have to get out of our tents, and walk out into our day to receive the grace he has promised. In other words, don’t just pray and sit in your tent and be idle. Take the steps you need to take and watch God show up on the other end.
This is how we find joy as we journey through this life. There is no greater thrill than to put all your confidence in God and then to experience his abundant provision to meet our every need. Instead of moaning our mouths will be filled with praise and thanksgiving. Our lives will be a shinning light to others walking in the wilderness.